Jake's hands were clenched and he had a weak smile on his face when he told me the joke his friends were laughing about. "I laughed, too," he said, "but inside I was filled with fear, fear that they might find out." Jake, a tall, slender high school junior, was...Read More.
I have visited and trained in schools in every state in America, and at most of these sites, I've had a conversation with teachers and administrators similar to the one below:
Me: How many rules do you have?
Answer: (proudly) I only have one rule...
Welcome back to school. I hope everyone had a fulfilling summer and is ready to greet our new school year and eager students for the beginning of what will be the best year of teaching in our lives so far. I spent part of the summer writing a new short-form book for ASCD (in production, due for...Read More.
I love May. The weather is as close to perfect as it will be all year in most parts of the country. The songbirds have returned to sing to us. My favorite sport, baseball, is in full swing. And best of all, May is both my birthday month and my sister's. And for educators, the arrival of May...Read More.
In my last post, I promised readers a special post on a topic of great importance to me. Fighting cynicism is that topic. It is one of the most important issues for me and needs to be one of the most important goals for all schools. Cynicism can rot out a school the way termites rot out a...Read More.
If you have ever lived with another person and come home to find them in a bad mood, how long did it take you to figure it out? Hours? Minutes? Seconds? Most people say "seconds," and some can tell before they even enter the same room. That's how children feel when they enter your classroom....Read More.
When I was school age, I never told a lie, but I bet many of you readers have lied in your youth. Okay, so maybe I did lie a few times . . . All of us have encountered students who've told us lies during our professional careers. One of the best I heard recently was when a...Read More.
"Guns don’t kill people, fast moving bullets do."
Like most youngsters at 14 years old, I sometimes came home from school and said to myself, "I could kill that kid." Of course I never meant it and never once did I think it was even within the realm of possibility. Things have...Read More.
After a morning Discipline With Dignity training, the high school principal and I walked to the cafeteria to eat lunch. He said, "I love your session, but it's not practical." I responded with my view that it was practical...Read More.
In last month's post, I mentioned that there are two skills that separate great teachers from good ones. I explained that the first skill is the ability to reframe student behavior, to see it in new ways. Today I...Read More.